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Ohio State wins the Rose Bowl 48 – 45 against the Utah Utes

PASADENA, Calif. — In an action-packed football game with an incredible ending, the Utah Utes lost the 20022 Rose Bowl to the Ohio State Buckeyes 45 – 48.

First quarter:

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ESPN sideline reporter, Holly Rowe, a Salt Lake City resident, estimated that upwards of 60,000 Utah fans traveled to attend the Rose Bowl as the  University of Utah Utes play for their first time in the tournament against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The underdog Utes were ahead of Ohio 14 – 0 at the end of the first quarter.

Second quarter:

Head coach of the Utah Utes, Kyle Wittingham, proves why he’s the AP Pac 12 Coach of the Year as he leads his University of Utah Utes to a 35 – 21 lead at halftime in their first appearance in the Rose Bowl tournament. Not completely satisfied, or not letting it show if he was, Wittingham told ESPN’s Holley Rowe in a halftime interview on the field before heading into the locker room, “We’ve got to figure some things out.” 

With three of the second quarter’s six touchdowns happening within a rapid-fire 50-second time-frame, the Utes were up at the half. One of those TDs was a 97-yard punt return by Utes Senior and season standout, #18, Britain Covey. 

That was soon followed by a 62-yard run by quarterback for the Utes, #7 Cam Rising which didn’t result in a touchdown but continued the team’s dominance down the field. He simply kept his feet moving through a grouping of athletes that became confused as to the actual ending of the play. Rising grew up in the Los Angeles area, however, never went to a Rose Bowl game until today.

Utah’s #6 Bishop recovered the football in the Buckeye endzone after an Ohio fumble, just yards up the field.

Ohio State player, sophomore Jackson Smith-NJigba was, not unexpectedly, outperforming his teammates.

The Utes are remembering the tragic deaths of two players throughout the year who both wore #22.

Third quarter:

Continuing to lead the scoreboard as they have since kickoff, the Utes were beating the Buckeyes 38 – 31. 

The 11th ranked Utes are up against the sixth-ranked Buckeyes as the Utes made its first appearance in school history in the Rose Bowl.

The two Vimahi brothers were each on the field but playing for different teams, against each other.  

Fourth quarter:

After a hard hit to Utah star quarterback Cam Rising rendered him unconscious for approximately one minute, Rising was able to gain consciousness and exit the field. In his place, with the score tied at 38 and nine minutes left in the game, walk-on freshman Byron Barnes walked on the field to take over for Rising.

Barnes had never thrown a football in a regulation game let alone the biggest game in the biggest moment in the history of the University. The quarterback from Milford, Utah, in the rural center of the state, moments later saw the Utes’ game-long lead slip away as the Buckeyes then caught a touchdown pass to take the lead at 38 – 45 with four minutes remaining. 

#86 Utes Dalton Kincade then caught a 15-yard pass deep in the Utah endzone from Barnes just inside of the two-minute warning tieing the score again at 45.

Ohio State kicked a 19-yard field goal to win the game with under ten seconds left with a final score of 45 – 48.

Carl Roepke Jr, Utes Football player, class of 1956 and father of a former USC Football player and coach of multiple NCAA football teams, told me after the game, “Even in defeat the Utes showed their spirit and determination to beat the highly-favored Ohio State Buckeye’s. The Utes were Skyline Champs in 1953 utilizing the newly developed ‘Utah Shovel Pass’ from Dave Dungan to Roepke Jr..

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